WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE WALKING DEAD SEASON SEVEN PREMIERE, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER.
Still with me? Okay, let’s do this.
After last night’s heartbreakingly devastating The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be, Negan’s kill(s) on The Walking Dead were finally no longer a secret. And even though it would have, could have only been one victim, it wound up being two. After Negan’s game of eeny-meeny-miny-moe resulted in him bashing in Abraham Ford’s skull, he turned to the crying Rosita and wanted to make her look at her boyfriend’s disfigured corpse. Daryl couldn’t bear being helpless anymore and jumped up to take a swing at Negan but was quickly restrained and taken back by the saviors.
As he had promised in the season six finale, Negan did not accept intervening by anyone and proceeded to “shut that sh– down” – by unexpectedly turning around and taking Glenn’s life as well, reenacting the iconic comic book moment from issue #100. In a way, Glenn’s death was Daryl’s fault, and this burden will be especially hard on the last Dixon brother.
In an exclusive interview with Comicbook.com, Norman Reedus reflected on Daryl’s actions and spoke out about how bearing that guilt will change him over the course of the season.
“I think it weighs heavily on him. I don’t know that anybody in that group blames him for anything, but he blames himself more than anything. It really brings him down to a certain level where whatever shitty thing is thrown at him, he is just going to take it.”
If you thought Daryl was a hard-hitter before, prepare to stand corrected, as Reedus went on to tease a darker Daryl than ever before.
“He goes very, very dark. He does certain things that he can’t go back from. He goes to a very, very dark, dark place. It’s a combination of hatred. It’s a combination of self-loathing. It’s different from when he first started on the show. He has a big chip on his shoulder. He thought people wouldn’t like him. He didn’t give a shit. He hates you, too. It turns now into he kind of hates himself. He hates the world that we’re in, and he doesn’t lose the fight in him, but he definitely no longer sees anything good in the world, that’s for sure.”
During the 90-minute Journey So Far special that aired right before the season premiere, Reedus described Rick Grimes as Daryl’s “brother that Merle couldn’t have been”. But certainly, this episode and Daryl’s outburst will have changed the way Rick looks at him.
“The bond between Rick and Daryl…,” Reedus says. “As the family breaks apart and loses family members and stuff like that, the bond just gets closer with the people that are still there. That bond doesn’t go anywhere, but through a series of events this season, the dynamics change a bit. That whole group is in such a broken place right now. The bond is still there, but I don’t know if it will. It’s actually broken quite a bit.”
Lastly, Reedus talked about having to bid farewell to his fellow cast members, Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) and Steven Yeun (Glenn).
“It’s hard, always, to say goodbye to people on the show. Some characters it’s harder to say goodbye to than others. Both of those characters are so important to the show and they’re very well respected with the other actors and they’re all good friends of ours. It’s always hard but, when it’s certain characters, it’s really hard.”
Keep in mind, Reedus and Yeun have been working together for seven years now. Both Daryl and Glenn have been on the show since day one, and they have grown, matured and evolved together – both on and off screen. Like Rick said in the episode: Glenn was family.
Check out or review of the season premiere here!